Sweden beats Australia 3-1 to reach semifinals

Lotta Schelin scored one goal and set up another Sunday as

Sweden beat Australia 3-1 to reach the semifinals at the women’s

World Cup.

Having set up Therese Sjogran for the opening goal in the 11th

minute, Schelin made the match safe in the 52nd to set off the

players’ traditional Swedish dancing celebrations.

Schelin capitalized on a poor back pass from Kim Carroll, took

one touch past goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri before slotting the ball

into the unguarded net.

”There is a fantastic atmosphere in our team and we pulled each

other through,” said Schelin, the player of the game.

The result means Sweden also qualifies for the London Olympics

next year.

Sjogran set up Lisa Dahlkvist for Sweden’s second goal in the

16th in front of 24,605 fans, before Ellyse Perry briefly gave

Australia hope with a stunning effort in the 40th.

Japan upset host Germany in another quarterfinal and will play

Sweden on Wednesday. Brazil plays the United States in Sunday’s

other quarterfinal.

”Now we have to concentrate on winning against Japan. We don’t

have very good memories of playing against them,” Sweden coach

Dennerby said. ”Our players will work hard to go one step

further.”

Appearing in its first quarterfinal, Australia started

cautiously against the 2003 runner-up and was almost caught out

when Schelin missed a chance in the sixth minute when she failed to

capitalize on a weak back pass from Servet Uzunlar.

Barbieri had to react to punch Sara Thunebro’s cross away from

the approaching Schelin shortly afterward, but the Sweden stiker

made her mark minutes later.

After great work on the left wing, Schelin took the ball past

Perry before cutting it back for Sjogran, who beat Barbieri at the

near post.

Sjogran, playing in her 172nd game for Sweden, was blocked from

close range minutes later.

Australia threatened only from set pieces and its defense

couldn’t deal with the intelligent running and quick passing of the

Swedish attack.

Five minutes after the first goal, Dahlkvist rose unopposed to

head in Sjogran’s cross from close range.

Josefine Oqvist should have made it 3-0 in the 21st, but she was

unable direct Schelin’s cross on target. Schelin then fired over

the bar as Sweden continued cutting through the Australian

defense.

Australia tried hard to find a response but was let down by the

final ball more than once. A free kick in the 32nd came to nothing

after Heather Garriock sent a cross to where nobody was

waiting.

Caitlin Foord’s persistence earned a corner, however, and when

the ball came to Perry on the edge of the area, her shot into the

top left corner gave Australia a lifeline before the interval.

Schelin took it away again, taking advantage of a terrible back

pass at the second time of asking to make the game safe.

”Unfortunately, we made too many simple mistakes,” Australia

coach Tom Sermanni said. ”After their last goal it was extremely

difficult.”

Despite the setback, Australia tried to rally again – Kyah Simon

heading wide, and De Vanna dragging her shot – but it simply didn’t

have the quality nor experience to deny Sweden another semifinal

appearance.

”We’re very satisfied,” Dennerby said.

—-

Lineups:

Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl, Charlotte Rohlin, Annica Svensson (Lina

Nilsson, 92), Sara Thunebro, Sara Larsson, Caroline Seger, Therese

Sjogran, Lisa Dahlkvist, Lotta Schelin, Josefine Oqvist (Madelaine

Edlund, 83), Linda Forsberg (Nilla Fischer, 67).

Australia: Melissa Barbieri, Kim Carroll, Ellyse Perry (Tameka

Butt, 59), Elise Kellond-Knight, Servet Uzunlar, Emily Van Egmond

(Clare Polkinghorne, 58), Collette McCallum (Sally Shipard, 79),

Caitlin Foord, Lisa De Vanna, Kyah Simon.

Referee: Silvia Reyes, Peru.